New Delhi: The
government Tuesday set a target of increasing exports by 20
percent in 2012-13 and announced a series of measures including
interest subsidy and market diversification programmes to boost
In the annual supplement to the foreign trade policy, Commerce and
Industry Minister Anand Sharma announced extension of interest
subsidy scheme by one year till March 31, 2013 for labour
Last year, the government had created a special dispensation for
labour intensive industry by extending the facility of two percent
interest subvention for handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and small
and medium enterprises (SMEs).
"We have now decided to extend the scheme for another year till
31st March 2013 and expand its coverage to include other labour
intensive sectors namely toys, sports goods, processed
agricultural products and ready-made garments," Sharma said.
Sharma, who also holds the textiles portfolio, said the government
has decided to continue with most of the incentives announced last
year to help exporters.
"It is our expectation that with these measures and with the
tenacity of our exporting community, we shall be able to sustain
an annual export growth of 20 percent this fiscal as well," the
India's exports increased by 20.94 percent to $303.71 billion in
the financial year ended March 31, 2012, surpassing the
government's target of $300 billion.
However, a sharp drop in exports growth in the last few months
indicate that sustaining a similar growth this financial year
would be difficult.
Exports grew at a sluggish rate of 3.23 percent to $24.45 billion
in April, the first month of the current financial year. In fact,
exports declined in March, and registered nominal growth in the
previous two months.
It will be interesting to see if the government's efforts would
help revive growth in exports.
In the annual supplement to foreign trade policy 2009-14, the
government unveiled a seven-point strategy to boost exports. It
-- To give a focused thrust to employment intensive industry
because we view exports not only in terms of their economic
contribution but as a means of generating gainful employment;
-- To encourage domestic manufacturing for inputs to export
industry and reduce the dependence on imports;
-- To promote technological upgradation of exports to retain a
competitive edge in global markets;
-- To persist with a strong market diversification strategy to
hedge the risks against global uncertainty;
-- To encourage exports from the North Eastern Region given its
special place in India's economy;
-- To provide incentives for manufacturing of green goods
recognising the imperative of building capacities for
environmental sustainability; and
-- To endeavour to reduce transaction cost through procedural
simplification and reduction of human interface.